Going to Belize was a last-minute idea. Sounds crazy right? After nixing my birthday bash plans I realized that I needed to do something special for myself. I had been working crazy hours for months and stressing about literally everything. Three weeks before my birthday (and departure date) I made a game time decision that gave me an amazing experience without breaking the bank. Here’s how I did it!
TheFlightDeal.com is treasure chest of low price cost flights to major cities and vacation hotspots worldwide. It alerts you to cheap flights and then you use the information to purchase the ticket elsewhere. I went on and searched to see what areas had low periods during my birthday weekend. Belize was one of 4 locations I liked and the ultimate winner. The round trip ticket I
saw was for $304 from Los Angeles to Belize! A steal! I had to
wait a week to buy the tickets because of work. When I finally bought my ticket it was $411. Still a good deal. It included a layover in Dallas on the way to Belize and an almost 24 hour layover in Miami on the way back. Free day in Miami? I’ll take it!
I chose San Pedro because it topped every list of best Belizean islands. It was named one of the most
beautiful islands in the world! Other popular spots include Caye Caulker, Placentia, and Hopkins.
This part was a little annoying financially. When you land in Belize City, you either catch a flight to the island ($73 each way) take a cab to the dock ($25) and ride a water taxi($35), or catch the public transportation bus to the water taxi (cheap but don’t do it!!)
Round trip I spent $120 to get to and from San Pedro by taking the cab& water taxi.The water taxi literally sped across the Caribbean Sea for 90 minutes to get us to Caye Caulker and San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.
On the island the way to travel is on foot, bike, golf cart, or car. Golf carts outnumber cars and are available for rent. I stuck to walking mostly, burning calories and saving dough.
Hostel was a scary movie, but the hostel I stayed in San Pedro wasn’t at all. Sandbar Beachfront Hostel & Restaurant became my home for 5 days/ 4 nights for only $55! I went on to Hostelworld.com and searched for hostels in San Pedro, Belize available on my desired dates.
A number of options popped up, so then I went through each one checking the costs, rating, pictures, distance, and reading reviews. I didn’t do much prep for my vacation, but I researched the hell out of the hostels.
The Sandbar is right on the
beach and only about a mile from the arrival dock. It’s super close to all the action! The bar& restaurant are on beach level, and the hostel is upstairs. They offer dorm rooms with three bunk beds in each. They also have private rooms. I took the $15 a night bunk bed. In the dorm room you also were given a locker. Each bed had curtains around it for privacy , electric outlets, and towels. The hostel was air-conditioned, each room had big fans, and everything was cleaned daily. There were separate men and women bathrooms.
My dormmates were all nice, especially a fun couple from Ohio, Amanda and Watson. The dorm rooms were co-ed, but Watson was
the only male in ours.It felt like a college dorm. The staff at the Sandbar is awesome! They are friendly and enjoy the chill atmosphere they create.
If you like being in the water you will love Belize! I’m a mermaid hippie island gyal at heart, so you know I was stoked! During my trip I lounged on the beach, climbed to the top of the Mayan ruins Altun Ha, hiked through the forest, went cave tubing, zip lined over a river, and went snorkeling over a barrier reef with 15+ sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and fish. If you don’t go snorkeling or scuba diving in Belize, slap yourself for missing the ultimate attraction in the country! There are a ton of different companies you can do these activities with, but I went with the one conveniently partnered with Sandbar called “Belize Celebrity Diving” (email@example.com). I spent $250 for the listed activities, which included transportation to/from the hostel, breakfast/lunch/snacks/water, and the round trip water taxi back to mainland. Great deal!
Bring snacks. I brought enough protein bars to feed a basketball team. The food and drinks weren’t the attraction of this country for me, the activities were. I tried a few dishes & drinks and my foodie senses didn’t tingle. Save your money and go explore! The one drink I highly recommend is the “Panty Ripper”. It’s a coconut/pineapple cocktail unique to San Pedro and each bar makes it slightly different. So gooooood. $65 total spent on food & drinks.
I have to confess that I didn’t party hard here. Being a female flying solo didn’t make going out at night feasible for me. Luckily Sandbar has one of
the more popular bars in San Pedro, so I conveniently socialized at the bar before climbing up to the living quarters. $5 total. More on traveling solo in my next post…
GRAND TOTAL= $906
For context, a flight during a high period would run around $700 round-trip and the average hotel would be around $120 per night. Eating $10 worth of food for 3 meals a day would have cost at least $120. If everything else stayed the same, my total could have been $1,740! That’s over $800 saved! My biggest advice for anyone aiming for an affordable trip is to use TheFlightDeal.com and consider hostels and AirBnB.